Wednesday, February 17, 2010


A speciality in Germany are the white asparagus - the season is always from April (start depends on the weather) until the 18th of June (Johannis).
Usually they are served with new potatoes or pancake (salty) - in Baden also Kratzete which is a destroyed pancake and melted butter or sauce hollandaise.
You can add ham or bacon, steak or salmon, there are millions of recipes.
During the season there are special stands - mostly from Baden where you can buy asparagus and strawberries. Of course you will also find it in your local supermarket and on the market.
If you are in or near Stuttgart, I can recommend the stand which is in Königstraße - right in the center of the pedestrian zone in front of WMF. Just look it up on Google Maps, the adress is Königstrasse 31. Take the thickest ones, they are great, not ligneous in any way and easy to peel. Most asparagus from our region come from Pleidelsheim and Schmiden (Württemberg) and Bruchsal (Baden).
How do you prepare asparagus the German way?

First peel them with a peeler or small knife - I prefer the peeler, I think it is easy that way. It takes some time to get the practice, the trick is not to cut too much which is a pity and not to cut too little - eating asparagus which hasn't been peeled properly gives you a feeling like eating a salad which still has sand in it - I hope I render the idea. At the end the asparagus are always more woody so I will peel this third twice and cut the ends.
Many stands offer to peel it for you, some have these machines:

You put them in the boiling water which has been seasoned with a little salt, sugar and a flake of butter (or oil, I use this). It takes them between 15-20 minutes to get cooked depending on the size. Then you just take them out and you are done.
Side dishes:
Small new potatoes - cooked in their peel in salt water for about 25-30 minutes.
Kratzete or Flädle
Butter or hollandaise sauce. If there are remnants you can cut them and make a delicious asparagus salad.
For time saving you can peel them some time before cooking - just wrap them in a moist kitchen towel and put them in the fridge. Since the season isn't very long you might want to put some in the freezer. That is ok, no problem. The important thing is that they have to be peeled before freezing.

Ingredients for Kratzete:
250 g flour, 4 eggs, 1/2 liter milk, salt, butter or oil

Recipe for Flädle (salty pancakes)

500 g flour, 1 l milk, 2 tea spoons of salt, nutmeg, 4 eggs, butter or oil
Mix the luke warm milk with the flour and salt and leave for half an hour. Then whip up the eggs and add them. Scald a pan with butter or oil and add one large spoon of dough. Let it fry on both sides until it has a golden color.

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